SARAS Aajeevika Mela is an initiative by the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM), Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD), Government of India, with an objective to bring the rural women Self Help Groups (SHGs) formed with support of DAY-NRLM, under one platform to show-case their skills, sell their products and help them build linkages with bulk buyers. Through participation in SARAS Aajeevika Mela, these rural SHG women get vital national level exposure to understand the demand and taste of urban customers. The Mela is organised by the marketing arm of the Ministry, Council for Advancement of People’s Action and Rural Technology (CAPART).
The Ministry of Rural Development is organising SARAS Aajeevika Mela at India Gate Lawns from 10th October to 23rd October, 2019. Union Minister for Rural Development Shri Narendra Singh Tomar will formally inaugurate the Mela at India Gate lawns at 5 PM on 12.10.2019. Over 200 stalls have been set-up at the Mela venue, where nearly 500 rural SHG craftswomen from 29 States and UTs will show-case varied range of products like handicrafts, handlooms, natural food products and a food court with regional cuisines at India Gate Lawns. Each stall, each product and each of the rural SHG women has a story to share, a story of victory over heavy odds. Workshops for the rural SHG women would be conducted during the Mela, which will help them to enhance their knowledge and sharpen their skills in book keeping and GST, product design, packaging, marketing/e-marketing, communication skills etc.
The SARAS Aajeevika Mela at India Gate Lawn features curated collection of handlooms, handicrafts, natural food products and food court with traditional cuisines, for the esteemed residents of Delhi NCR. Some of the highlights of Mela are:
- Sarees – Kalamkari from Andhra Pradesh, Cotton and silk sarees from Bihar, Kosa sarees from Chhattisgarh, Tasar silk and cotton sarees from Jharkhand, IIkal sarees from Karnataka, Chanderi sarees and Bagh print sarees from Madhya Pradesh, Paithani and silk sarees from Maharashtra, Tasar and Banda sarees from Odisha, Kanchipuram sarees from Tamil Nadu, Pochampalli sarees from Telangana, Silk sarees from Uttar Pradesh, Pashmina sarees from Uttrakhand, Katha stitched sarees, Batik print, Tanth and Baluchari sarees from West Bengal.
- Dress materials and apparel – Mehkla chadar from Assam, Bharat gunthan and patch work from Gujarat, dupatta and dress materials from Jharkhand, Ilkal kurtis from Karnataka, stoles and Eri products from Meghalaya, Bagh print dress materials from Madhya Pradesh, dress materials from Maharashtra, Phulkari from Punjab, readymade garments, suits from Uttar Pradesh, Pashmina stole, sarees, shawl from Uttrakhand, Katha stitched and batik print stoles from West Bengal.
- Natural food products – natural spices and food products from Kerala, green products across states like spices, ginger, tea, pulses, rice, millets products, medical plants products, coffee, papad, apple jam, achar etc. would be available for sale
Showstopper at the Mela would be the mouth-watering authentic delicacies from nearly 20 States, with a first of its kind food fest show-casing the diversity of India’s ethnic cuisine, at the India Food Court, prepared and served by SHG members.
Another attraction of the Mela is the tamarind value chain from Jharkhand, portraying end-to-end journey right from plucking of tamarind, deseeding, cleaning and packaging to the final product on sale in the Demo Zone. Some of the programmatic interventions such as – Patrakar Didi (rural women journalists), BC Sakhi (women banking correspondent) and a live performance by all SHG women’s musical troupes Chendamelam from Kerala, Ghoomar from Rajasthan, tribal dance and nukkad natak from Jharkhand, Cheraw (Bamboo dance) from Mizoram and Gidda from Punjab, as an integrated approach towards women empowerment, would also be show-cased.